Maybe I should remind these geniuses what their mission statement is:
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. [my emphasis]The key word here - one that these guys and gals seem to have lost sight of - is RESEARCH.
You want to push a government solution to the problems this country has with health care costs? Kiss research goodbye.
When you think of government-controlled health care delivery systems, what area of the world do you think of first? Right. Europe - Britain, France, Germany. Where access is beguilingly broad and cancer research has come to a grinding halt.
Did you know that at one time European countries led the entire planet in expenditures on health care (cancer!) research? Well, second anyway. To the United States of America.
Now Europe relies almost entirely on the U.S. for research. It has driven R&D companies out with its astronomical and ever-increasing costs, and restrictive regulations.
Don't take my word for it? From a recent Wall Street Journal article:
So the American Cancer Society, an organization "dedicated to eliminating cancer" through research is taking itself down the path that destroyed European cancer research - and is costing Europeans their lives.
We live in an age of unprecedented medical innovation. Unfortunately, most of today's cutting-edge research is conducted outside Europe, which was once a pioneer in this field, says Daniele Capezzone, president of the productivity committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
● About 78 percent of global biotechnology research funds are spent in the United States, compared to just 16 percent in Europe, giving Americans better access to modern drugs.
● One result is that in the United States, the annual death rate from cancer is 196 per 100,000 people, compared to 235 in Britain, 244 in France, 270 in Italy and 273 in Germany.
The human toll can be measured in deaths and unnecessary suffering. It also costs Europeans a lot of money. Prevention is cheaper than treatment. This situation is especially dire in Italy, says Capezzone:
● The government has capped spending on pharmaceuticals at 13 percent of total health-care expenditures while letting expenses for infrastructure and staff skyrocket.
● From 2001 to 2005, general health expenses in Italy grew by 31 percent while expenditure on medicines increased a mere 1.7 percent.
● Italian patients might well have been better off if the reverse was the case, but the state bureaucrats who make these decisions refuse to acknowledge the benefits of advanced drugs.
It is both a tragedy and an embarrassment that Europe hasn't kept up with the America in saving and improving lives. What's to blame? The Continent's misguided policies and state-run health-care systems, says Capezzone. The reasons vary from country to country, but broadly speaking, the custodians of public health budgets aren't devoting the necessary resources to get patients the most modern and advanced medicines, and are happier with the status quo. (link requires paid subscription)
Brilliant, fellas. Just brilliant.